Tag Archives: shot

Stinky Bar Grease

25 Jun

Well it’s that time again. Time to start getting ready for black bear hunting in Minnesota. Lottery applicants can check to see if they were drawn online at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources since early June.

Bear lottery winners must purchase their license by August 1, 2012. Unsold licenses will then become available for purchase by anyone starting August 6, 2012 at 12:00PM.

At this time of year I start thinking about where I am going to get my bait from. Craigslist sometimes has items for free, then there is freezing your leftovers or you could always buy bait.

When buying bait I would suggest bait that does not spoil quickly exposed to the elements like doughnuts, bread and dog food. Simple cracked corn and grease works just fine. I prefer – if I can get my hands on it – dried expired fruits packed in sugar. Easier said than done. I also like peanuts and trail mix if there aren’t too many crackers in it. I have never really had too much luck with fresh fruits like apples. Every bear seems to have their own likes and dislikes, so try a number of different baits.

A good place to just buy bait is Lucky 7 Bear Bait in Cambridge, MN. Their inventory changes so visit their website frequently. I believe they may even ship throughout the US.

It doesn’t hurt to go to your bakery or gas station for bait. Don’t forget to go to the local watering hole for the tastey bar grease! Bring a bucket and a way to scoup it out. Don’t get it on you vehicle cause once the sun hits it – you aren’t every going to get it off.

This year my group intends to use bait barrels chained and / or bolted to trees. Should be interesting.

Baiting may not begin prior to August 17, 2012.

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Tracking Trains

7 Oct

I am sure some of you have heard of wolves being shot and the collars thrown on a train. I heard it on the radio this morning and thought maybe someone has done this with a bear radio collar? The joke this morning was that in Roseau, MN someone shot a wolf and put the collar on his sheep. The other was that the wolf was going 70 miles per hour (the train). Let me know your thoughts or if you have ever heard of this with a collard bear or other tracked animal…maybe a Minnesota Moose?

2011 Black Bear Report : II

16 Sep

This information is as of 09-15-2011

BEMIDJI AREA

A few more bears were registered this week.

Bluewater Outdoors

(218) 444-BAIT (2248)

DULUTH AREA

Bear hunters are reporting more activity at night on their baits and a “bear or two” is registered each day.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EMILY AREA

Bear reports have been favorable.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

HACKENSACK AREA

Bearhunters report a bumper crop of acorns and not much activity at baits.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176

RED LAKE

Bear hunters continue to experience good success, but many are stating that they are becoming most active at night.

Dr. Tackle Sports (218) 647-8657

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

2011 Black Bear Report : I

12 Sep

This information is as of 9/8/2011

BEMIDJI AREA

Bear hunters report good activity just before dark.

Bluewater Outdoors: (218) 444-BAIT (2248)

DULUTH AREA

Bear hunting reports have been mixed with 15 bears registered and other hunters struggling to get baits hit.

Chalstrom’s Bait: (218) 726-0094

GRAND RAPIDS AREA

Bear hunters are seeing action at their baits, but a lot of it is taking place after dark.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle: (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA

One bear had been registered as of Tuesday morning.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle: (218) 675-6176

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Bear hunting seems to be best just northwest of town.

Delaney’s: (218) 732-4281

RED LAKE

Bear hunters and guides are reporting good bear activity with baits being hit and several big animals shot.

Mort’s Dock: (218) 647-8128

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Opening Success

8 Sep

It always seems to me that it is very hot on the Minnesota Black Bear Opener.   I thought it would be interesting to see if it actually was.  Here is some data from the Farmers Almanac for Grand Rapids (Zone 26), MN.  I understand that the temperature is very different in other parts of Minnesota, but here is a frame of reference.

Heat Vs Harvest

The average high temperature is 75.7°F, a low of 53.8°F with an average harvest of 291.5 bears from Zone 26 each year since the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) started recording data.

So it is not all that hot and it is reasonably cool in the evenings. You can review the numbers and come to your own conclusions. I see that hot years have fewer bears harvested and in cooler years higher success. You have to take into account the entire summer and food available. Best scenario is little food with a cool opening day.

It is going to be interesting this year to see the harvest numbers since there are fewer hunters and the number of bait sites allowed has been reduced to three per hunter.  As most bear hunters know the opening success rate drops exponentially after the first day.  If you are lucky enough to be in an area that there is little pressure you should have little to worry about.

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Only Three Bait Sites Allowed

6 Sep

A change in baiting regulations is causing confusion among many of Minnesota’s 6,000 bear hunters just as the season gets underway.

The change this year prohibits hunters from placing more than three bait stations in the woods at one time. Previously, they could put out an unlimited number of bait stations.

“A lot of bear hunters aren’t aware of the change,” said Capt. Ken Soring of the Department of Natural Resources in Grand Rapids. He said the misunderstanding is widespread.

The bear hunting season opened Thursday.

Bear hunters must send the DNR the locations of their bait registration stations, and many are sending in more than three locations — unaware they are violating the law, Soring said.

“We’re calling them,” Soring said. “They have to abandon some of their bear-bait sites. It’s only fair for other hunters who are following the regulations.”

Soring said the DNR reduced the number of bait stations to three to reduce hunter conflicts and competition over sites.

“We were getting complaints from bear hunters — some hunters were placing baits in a pre-emptive manner,” Soring said. “This still gives hunters a chance to hunt three different areas.”

Hunters still can establish different bait stations if they remove one of their old ones. And each licensed bear hunting outfitter may establish up to three bait stations in addition to three bait stations placed for licensed hunters.

Soring said conservation officers are trying to give hunters a break, but those knowingly violating the law face citations, he said.

Doug Smith • dsmith@startribune.com

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Master Baiter

17 Aug

I believe in two schools of thought when it comes to baiting.  You can place one massive amount of bait at a site until hunting starts or you can  schedule your baiting. Both tactics work great. They both have their drawbacks  as well.

Massive dumps provide a safe environment for the bears to come and  go.  There is no human scent.  They can come and go with no real threat in the daylight or in the darkness.  Their food will always be there.  The problem here is that when  you go to sit in the stand for the first time your scent will be new to the  bears and you might be S.O.L.  The other bad part is that the bear may have never been trained to come in during daylight hours.  The great part is that the bait site may be vary remote or you do not have the time to bait it.  So making one trip may be the ticket.  You might even have a bear that you have been after for a long while and are trying to leave this sensitive area alone.

Scheduling your baiting in small amounts is another tactic. There are two points to this: missed meals and scent.  You  might have some greedy bears that are eating everything.  The big night bear finally figures out to come earlier after a number of missed meals.  He can smell the goodies were there and now he  decides it is time to put the other bears in their place and come in during daylight hours.  When you are the baiter you get to see what the bears are interested in, just like in fishing.  You can keep changing up the bait until you get it right to keep them coming.  You are leaving scent in the area and if you keep your timing consistent you are not  disrupting the bears behavior.  Keeping them consistent  as well.  They do not know if you are there now, have been there, or just  left.  Human scent is a risk verses reward for the bear.  Once it is time to get up into the stand and you have put your scent killer on you will still be wafting human scent into the area.  He will think you were there recently and put his face into the bait, but completely unaware he has a bow sight with the number two pin just behind his arm pit.  Low risk to the bear for the reward of the best foods in the world not available anywhere else in the woods.  They have such great noses that it is impossible for them not to smell you.  Being the baiter is a huge bonus as your scent is acclimated to the bears.  However; if the hunter is not the baiter, her scent might put the bears off.

The moral is that it is good to be the Master Baiter. You get your  scent out there and you also get to get the bear!

Here is an old schedule I ran one year:

Castle Creek Outfitters : Baiting Schedule

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Black Bear Shot Placement

9 Aug

There are many instances when a hunter should reconsider taking the shot at their prey. You aren’t comfortable with the shot, can’t catch your breath, there is brush in the way, etc. When bear hunting you should be aware that there are some shots that should be avoided.

Bears have a very large shoulder blade and humerus (upper arm bone). These act as shields to bullets and arrows. Their heart is well protected behind these if the front leg is back along the body.

Bad Shot:

Good Shot:

The best shot on a black bear is a quartering away shot with the front leg extended forward along the side you intend to shoot. The vitals are all exposed for a proper kill shot.

Quartering Away Shot:

Red Arrows Are Kill Shots (Black Bad Shot):

Take this into consideration before you pull the trigger or let that arrow fly. Nobody likes to chase after a wounded bear at one in the morning in the darkness unless your buddy likes getting his ankle bit just so he can shoot one with his glock handgun.

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